Love is in the air

With Tennessee roots, an Earlysville wedding keeps it cozy

Cramer Photo

Allison Holt Joby Ryan, IIISeptember 9, 2017, at The Barn at Panorama Farms

The most elegant Southern barbecue dinner party you can imagine.” That was the bride’s vision for her wedding reception from the get-go. It was important to her to incorporate her Southern roots (Allison grew up in Tennessee) wherever possible, utilizing magnolia leaves at each place setting, incorporating blackberry filling in the cake to evoke the ones she’d picked for cobbler as a young girl and homing in on a family-style menu with plenty of Southern staples (mac ‘n’ cheese, fried chicken, a low-country boil).

The couple met while working together at a law firm in Washington, D.C. But it wasn’t until after Joby moved to Charlottesville to attend law school at UVA that they started dating. They were together three years before getting married.

With only five months to plan the wedding, Allison and Joby settled on Panorama Farms early on for its spectacular views and multiple areas for guests to mingle and enjoy themselves. The hanging ladder arrangement over the head table—which was 24 feet long—required florist Amy Thornburg to scavenge nearby woods for greenery.

Instead of traditional place cards, the groom made individual flags for each guest, attached to stirrers in tea glasses.

“We wanted it to feel informal, fun and celebratory,” says Joby. That aesthetic spilled over into décor, as well, with flip-flops provided for dancing, cornhole boards made by the father of the bride and plenty of nods to the couple’s alma maters, the University of Tennessee and Ohio State. And, even though the couple agreed on no DIY when they started planning, they each got plenty hands-on: Allison hand-lettered invitations, signage, escort cards and place cards at each seat; Joby created the wedding website and welcome papers.

For their dance, Allison and her dad square-danced to the Osborne Brothers’ “Rocky Top.”

After the party is the after-party: Allison and Joby gave guests a peek into their honeymoon, serving South African wines as a nod to where they’d be heading post-nuptials.

Still, even after all of that, their favorite moments were ones they couldn’t have planned: Allison’s face as she appeared over the ridge, the toasts from friends and family and the unexpected hot air balloon that touched down after the ceremony, providing the newlyweds with a picture-perfect moment.

The Details:

Event planner: Katie Brazeal Kirkpatrick (Shindig Weddings) Officiant: Rev. Kelly Scott Catering: The Catering Outfit Flowers: The Arrangement Company Cake: Favorite Cakes by Kathy Music: Jay Iseli (DJs 4 U) Bride’s attire: Hayley Paige Shoes: Badgley Mischka Groom’s attire: Suitsupply suit, Bonobos shirt, Brooks Brothers tie Rings: Custom made by Mitch Engles at Lynn Jewelers Hair: Vanessa Evans (Bristles Hair Design & Day Spa) Makeup: Rouge 9 Tent: Skyline Tent Company Rentals: Paisley & Jade